It’s Not about Me! Discussion Questions for Week 6: Moving from Cynicism to Hope
1. What insights did you gain from the message this past Sunday? What was most helpful for you? Was there anything that was difficult for you?
2. The speaker on Sunday suggested that cynicism (the inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest) is an inherent part of the human condition. Do you agree? Was there a time in your life when you particularly struggled with cynicism? In what ways do you experience cynicism now?
3. Cynicism often arises from disappointed idealism. Read the following verses:
- Philippians 4:13
- Romans 8:28
- John 14:13-14
How do they make you feel? When you read scripture that does not seem to correspond to your experience of life, how do you respond?
4. Read Genesis 3:1-24.
- What does this story say to you about cynicism?
- In what ways did Adam and Eve become cynical about God? About each other? About the world?
5. Jesus never shied away from the struggles and disappointments of life. He experienced misunderstanding, mockery, rejection, betrayal, suffering, and death—and told his followers to expect the same. Read Matthew 16:21-28.
- What does Jesus say to give hope to his followers?
- How do you understand the phrase: “Whoever loses his life for me will find it”?
- Have you had an experience where you have “denied yourself” and found “life” as a result?
6. Jonathan Lear describes “radical hope” as “directed toward a future goodness that transcends the current ability to understand it.” Read Matthew 13:44-45.
- What do you think Jesus was trying to communicate through these short parables?
- How do they illustrate “radical hope”?
7. Think about your own life. Are there situations where you feel cynical? Are there situations where you are in need of radical hope? Take some time to pray for each person in your group.
Peter, Paul, and John: Wrestling With Faith in Troubled Times
And Now for Some Good News
View Previous Discipleship Group Materials